Ryan: After catching plenty of flak, Bruins’ physical response Thursday ‘was a good first step to getting back to who we are’

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The stakes were far from that of a Stanley Cup Playoff bout, but the Bruins’ matchup against the Penguins on Thursday had the weight of much more than just another regular-season meeting in the dog days of winter.

Boston might have been two days removed from getting bullied and bruised by the Blue Jackets, but off the ice, Bruce Cassidy’s club was still taking a beating from the media and fans alike.

A listless response on Tuesday after Tuukka Rask was clocked in the side of the head drew the ire of many, and for good reason. 

As such, there was plenty of anticipation for how Boston was going to respond in its next tune-up. Would Cassidy’s crew go full Hanson Brothers and wreak havoc on home ice, or would it be more of the same?

Given all that transpired over the previous 48 hours, Cassidy and his staff felt it was the right time to deviate from the usual routine. 

“We did have a different day today, we had a different meeting on some things we needed to do better as a group,” Cassidy said. “It wasn’t necessarily a challenge, it was a reset on supporting one another all over the ice. ….We addressed the group about a little bit of our mentality. We feel we’re winners in that locker room, but you have to prepare to win, you have to compete to win and go through the process of winning.”

Torey Krug clearly got the memo.